March 29, 2019

It's Near

Mark 1:14-15

“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

—  Mark 1:15

According to a 2016 Barna Group study of spirituality, 72 percent of people in the United States call themselves Christians, but only 31 percent practice their faith. This research also revealed that only 35 percent of believing Christians go to church more than twice a month. And although 75 percent say they pray, only 19 percent read their Bible.

Looking at these statistics, we might not think the kingdom of God is near. In fact, there can be times when it seems rather far away. When Jesus says, “The kingdom of God has come near,” what does he mean?

It’s less of a place and more of a presence and a way of life. The rule and reign of Christ is around us and in us. Jesus wants us to know that God’s authority and power will not be denied. It can be found in all followers of Jesus. As kings, we carry out God’s kingdom purposes in our worship, service, and obedient living.

Through Christ, you and I can live today in the kingdom of God, although the ways of darkness and sin and the devil still influence this world. When we seek God’s agenda for our lives, when we live for his purposes and glory, we are kings and queens reigning with Christ. Don’t let the devil and his lies have any place in your life. God’s kingdom is near, and God wants to work in us and through us to bring goodness and light into this world.

Lord, may your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Bring your full authority into our lives and into this world, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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